A young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kitten
BARKS AND MUSINGS

A Trupanion blog

Five Common Kitten Illnesses to Watch for

By: Kelli Rascoe

Orange kitten stands near sunlit window

If you have a kitten, you know how mischievous they can be. Kittens are playful and sometimes their curiosity may get the best of them. As a pet owner, you want to spend quality time with your best friend -, and a trip to the emergency room doesn’t count. With 23,346 kitten illness invoices in our database, we wanted to create this resource as a way to help pet owners. For this reason, we sat down with the Trupanion data team and Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold to reveal some of the most common kitten illnesses and the veterinary invoices paid.

Five common kitten illnesses for every kitten owner to know

A mom and baby kitten snuggle together

1. Vomiting and diarrhea

An upset stomach may affect all pets, including your new kitten. While it may seem minor, an upset stomach should not be taken lightly. In fact, it could be a sign that something more is going on with your furry friend. “It is important to seek medical care for vomiting and diarrhea, especially if severe, as your cat can quickly become dehydrated. This is especially true in kittens, due to their small size,” says Nold.

There are many reasons why your kitten may have vomiting or diarrhea. It may react to a medication or your pet may have swallowed something they shouldn’t have. Nold breaks down some of the reasons your furry friend’s stomach may be sick.

Consider the following:

  • Intestinal parasites
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
  • Toxins
  • Medications

Did you know?

According to the Trupanion data team:

  • A cat is 6.5% more likely to develop this condition
  • For kittens that do have vomiting or diarrhea issues, the average annual cost is between $300-$500.

2. Ingestion of a foreign material

Kittens are curious. They like to interact and play in their new home. While interaction and enrichment are encouraged, be mindful that your home is safe. If your kitten ingests something, you may not immediately notice. “Cats seem to be more likely to swallow things they like to play with like string, hair ties, rubber bands, or sewing needles,” states Nold.

Signs of ingestion may include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

If you think your kitten has ingested anything, please seek the medical care of your veterinarian.

Did you know?

According to the Trupanion data team:

  • A cat is 1.5% likely to develop this condition
  • For kittens that do have foreign body ingestion issues, the average annual cost is between $700-$1,700.

3. Fractured bone

As your kitten explores, they may jump onto objects and furniture. And an accident can happen. Also, a fractured bone is more common than you would think. Nold points out the signs of a fractured bone.

“The most common sign associated with a fractured bone in a limb is lameness, usually non-weight bearing. You may also see localized swelling and your pet will likely guard the area, as it is quite painful. Be cautious about trying to examine the area, as they could try to bite or scratch you.”

Did you know?

According to the Trupanion data team:

  • A cat is 0.4% likely to develop this condition
  • For kittens that do have a fractured bone, the average annual cost is between $1,200-2,700.

4. Urinary tract infection

Your kitten may be having issues, and you may not even know. Kittens and cats are particular about their surroundings, including where they urinate. But how do you know if your kitten is sick? Nold weighs in on the signs of a urinary tract infection.

“Cats are good at hiding any signs of illness. However, signs you may notice with a urinary tract infection include: urinating more frequently, urinating outside the litter box, blood in the urine, and straining to urinate.”

If you notice your kitten is having any issues urinating, please seek veterinary care. They can run diagnostics and recommend the best course of action for your pet.

Did you know?

According to the Trupanion data team:

  • A cat is 3.0% like to develop this condition
  • For kittens that do have urinary tract infection issues, the average annual cost is between $200-$400.

5. Urinary obstruction

Urinary issues may start as infection and lead to more issues. Does your kitten vocalize in the litter box? If so, there may be a urinary obstruction. In addition, “signs of a urinary obstruction include all the same signs as a urinary tract infection. Also, if you notice your cat vocalizing or yowling in the litter box or an inability to urinate you should treat it as an emergency,” says Nold.

A urinary tract infection and a urinary obstruction may be the result of a secondary medical condition. If your cat has any issues, seek medical care. Your veterinarian can ease your kitten’s pain and get to the root of the problem.

Did you know?

According to the Trupanion data team:

  • A cat is 0.6% likely to develop this condition
  • For kittens that do have urinary obstruction issues, the average annual cost is between $1,800-$2,500.

An orange and white kitten stretches its paws out

Common kitten illnesses may be unexpected and need medical care

Your kitten may not let you know that they’re sick. They may feel unwell and may show many signs or none at all. If you notice a change in behavior, please seek medical care. But by being proactive, seeking medical care, and preparing for the unexpected with a Trupanion policy for your kitten, you can rest easy knowing you have help if something happens to your best friend.

To learn more on kittens, read this Cat Care Guide.

We love informed decisions. See our policy for full coverage details.

A dog and cat snuggle

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A WORD FROM TRUPANION

Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

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